Spreading a bailout across all industries affected by the ongoing trade war would cost taxpayers $39 billion, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis.
The Chamber opposes the billions in tariffs that President Donald Trump has slapped on a host of goods from China as well as steel and aluminum imports.
To compensate for the economic damage, Trump recently approved $12 billion in emergency aid for farmers who produce certain goods, particularly soybeans. The package was touted as a temporary solution while negotiations continue, but the president has taken seething criticism including from his own party and some farmers themselves.
In its study of what would happen should the aid program spread, the Chamber said the effects would be substantial.
“The best way to protect American industries from the damaging consequences of a trade war is to avoid entering into a trade war in the first place,” Neil Bradley, the organization’s executive vice president and chief policy officer, said in a statement. “The administration’s focus should be expanding free trade and removing these harmful tariffs, not allocating taxpayer’s money to only marginally ease the suffering for some of the industries feeling the pain of the trade war.”